The Ecosystem Monitoring and Analysis section within the Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) undertakes a wide range of activities that meet Objective 3 of OFP's Strategic Plan, namely:
“Improved understanding of pelagic ecosystems in the western and central Pacific Ocean”
Within the section, we have five result areas under the strategic plan.
Result 3.1 Enhanced data on the biological characteristics of oceanic species and their environment are available to support stock assessment and ecosystem-based fisheries management
This is achieved primarily through the implementation and analyses of data from primary research including regional tuna tagging experiments; biological sampling for estimation of age, growth and reproductive biology; and description and analyses of the trophic ecosystem that supports the tuna fisheries The section works closely with the Stock Assessment and Modelling Section to address key information gaps that strongly influence regional stock assessments and national level analyses.
Result 3.2 Appropriate ecosystem models and analyses are available to inform ecosystem-based fisheries management
This is achieved primarily through the development and application of two ecosystem models. The SEAPODYM model links tuna population dynamics with physical and biological oceanography allowing high resolution estimation of tuna distribution and abundance. This model allows for a comprehensive analyses of tuna responses to oceanography and is currently being applied to evaluate the likely impacts of climate change on tuna stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. In conjunction with SEAPODYM a multi-species ecosystem model (using Ecopath with Ecosim and Ecospace framework) is also applied for the western Pacific region. This model differs from SEAPODYM in that it allows the entire trophic structure to be modelled explicitly. This model is being used to assess potential impacts of tuna fishing on the pelagic ecosystem and the other species that are dependent upon it.
Result 3.3 Regional oceanic fisheries policy and decision-making by WCPFC is informed by science-based information and advice on ecosystem issues
This is achieved through our role as a service provider to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), primarily supporting the Biology and Ecosystem and Bycatch Themes of its scientific committee and through development and maintenance of the WCPFC Bycatch Mitigation Information System.
Result 3.4 FFA’s ecosystem-based fisheries management initiatives are supported by the best scientific information and advice
This is achieved in collaboration with the other OFP sections to support our sister agency the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) in providing analytical support for their Regional fisheries management initiatives. Ecological risk assessment and provision of supporting information and advice for bycatch mitigation.
Result 3.5 Ecosystem-based management of oceanic fisheries by SPC members is supported by the best scientific information and advice
This is achieved in collaboration with the other OFP sections to support the development of National Tuna Fisheries Status Reports (NTFSRs), particularly the provision of analyses of fisheries oceanography, ecosystem dynamics and bycatch. The section also provides capacity building in ecosystem sciences through regular workshops.
Ecosystem and Multispecies Modelling
Scientific Advice on Ecosystem-based Management Issues